Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: North (05/05/16)
TITLE: The wrong-sized Lifeboat
By Lisa Enqvist
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My builder measured the planks and realized there was more than enough timber, so he decided to make me bigger, so as not to waste anything. When the captain came to get me, he was surprised.
“Why did you make the boat so big? It is too big to fit in the space where the old boat was kept!”
“Sorry Sir, I did not want to waste any of the good timber you provided.”
The captain studied me carefully and decided that I was well built. He accepted my extra one and a quarter meters length. I was six meters and seventy-five centimeters long.
I was always the odd one out whenever the ship was sailing out at sea. There was no room for me in the space the old lifeboat had used. I had to be strapped and tied on a side railing. I always felt clumsy and in the way when I hung there. In the sea, carrying loads of people, equipment, or barrels of water, I was in my element.
The day came when I realized that I was not an inch too big. The Gospel Ship was worn out after 28 years in the tropics. The captain was forced by Immigration officials to leave Banjarmasin on the south coast of Borneo, Indonesia while the tropical monsoon season still raged.
At two o’clock in the morning, nineteen hours after leaving the harbor, and after twelve hours fighting to keep the sinking ship afloat, the captain decided to abandon the ship.
That was when I came to be used to keep all nineteen people alive. The full moon gave just enough light between the storm clouds, so everyone got safely on board.
As the Gospel Ship was sinking, every man, woman, and child found a place to sit, the youngest, in his mother’s lap. It was a tight fit. In normal situations, I was fully loaded carrying twelve persons. I was riding too deep in such a storm. At any moment, a wave could sink all my passengers and me.
The captain had taken along a hand-held compass and a torch, and he set the course due north, towards the south coast of Borneo.
I can’t boast that I alone helped all nineteen persons to safety on the shore twenty-one hours after the shipwreck. After twelve hours of chugging along against the high waves, a fishing boat discovered me, and taking part of my passengers on board, towed me another nine hours to the shore.
One of those who were among the saved said later,
“We praised God for His faithfulness and that He still shows His might in the same way as in ancient Bible days. The fuel that should have finished in three and a half hours kept us going for twelve hours. The Angels had kept our boat above the waves. Jesus had sat with us in the boat, as he had with the disciples of old."
I sought the Lord, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
Psalm 34:4-7 (NIV)
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